Australia - United States Free Trade

Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement - Guide to the Agreement

Statement of Australian Objectives

On 3 March 2003, the Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, announced Australia's objectives for the negotiations.

Free trade leads to higher economic growth, better living standards and more and better job opportunities. The Government is committed to negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States that will reduce restrictions on the ability of the two countries to do business with each other. Australia will aim to ensure that the outcomes of the FTA negotiations complement and reinforce our objectives in the Doha Round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations and in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forums, and set a high standard for other FTAs in the region. Australia's shared approach with the United States on many issues in both the WTO and APEC provides a strong foundation for achieving that goal.

The higher incomes that free trade brings will enhance the ability of both the US and Australia to achieve fundamental economic and social policy objectives. Nevertheless, the Government will ensure that outcomes from the FTA negotiations do not impair Australia's ability to meet fundamental policy objectives in health care, education, consumer protection, cultural policy, quarantine and environmental policy. The Government will continue to place a high priority on consultations with the States and Territories, industry and professional bodies and community organisations as the negotiations proceed.

The Government's specific objectives for negotiations with the United States are as follows:

Trade in Industrial Goods and Agriculture

Rules of Origin

Quarantine / Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures

Trade Remedies

Customs Cooperation

Trade in Services

Investment

Intellectual Property Rights

Telecommunications and Electronic Commerce

March 6, 2004

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